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The following table shows estimates of the percentage share of total equivalised disposable income received by each household quintile group. The latest available estimates are for the year 2004-05, and there are no projections beyond this. The earliest available estimates which are based on equivalised incomes are for the year 1977.

Percentage shares of equivalised disposable income by household quintile groups for 1977,1996-97 and 2004-05
United KingdomPercentages
Quintile groups119771996-972004-05

Bottom

10

8

8

2nd

14

12

13

3rd

18

16

17

4th

23

23

22

Top

36

42

41

All households2

100

100

100

1Ranked by equivalised disposable income. 2 Totals may not add to 100 due to rounding.Source: Office for National Statistics

Whaling

Lord Ashcroft asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): We shall continue to encourage more conservation-minded countries to join the International Whaling Commission (IWC) as soon as possible, in order to reverse the pro-whaling majority in the commission.

The United Kingdom raises the issue of whaling at every appropriate opportunity and our posts abroad will be lobbying the Governments of pro-whaling IWC members to seek support from their host countries for the UK's position on whaling. The prominent role we play within the IWC ensures no country can be in any doubt as to the importance we attach to whale conservation.

Lord Ashcroft asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My honourable friend the Minister for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare (Ben Bradshaw), has recently written to the Environment Ministers of all European Union member states that are not currently members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and to all those seeking accession to the EU, to encourage support for the (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling, and for the UK’s policies on whaling.

Defra officials also ensure that Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts in the relevant capitals are briefed and engage in discussion with their counterparts on whaling at every appropriate opportunity. This ensures that these countries are in no doubt of the importance that the UK places on whale conservation.

Lord Ashcroft asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Neither the United Kingdom delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) nor any scientist on that delegation would accept that the procedure cited by the noble Lord would adequately control lethal research whaling. Those Governments which currently authorise scientific whaling have so far refused to recognise that the right to undertake such whaling (as provided for in Article VIII of the IWC’s parent treaty) should be restricted in any way by the introduction of the revised management scheme for the regulation of whaling. Lack of agreement on this front is one of the more significant obstacles to the progress of negotiations on the revised management scheme.

Lord Ashcroft asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The UK contributes to all such workshops through its annual subscription to the International Whaling Commission. At present, the Government do not plan to provide any further financial support to this particular workshop.

Works of Art

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): This portrait was returned to the British Library, and is in its possession.

World War I: Court-Martial

Lord Garden asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Approximately 7,000 servicemen were tried for desertion under the (British) Army Act 1881. We would need to examine the registers for courts martial to establish how many were sentenced and this could be done only at disproportionate effort. 266 were executed. It is not known how many soldiers were sentenced or executed for desertion under the Indian Army Act 1911.

World War I: Pardons

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): I refer the noble Lord to the Written Ministerial Statement made today in another place by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Browne).

Young Offenders: Training

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Vocational training, including in some cases training in construction skills, is provided in custodial establishments for young people. The training can lead to formal qualifications. Other vocational courses include gas fitting, motor mechanics and information technology. Construction skills training is also provided, as part of an intensive supervision and surveillance programme, to some young offenders serving a community sentence who would otherwise be at risk of going into custody. Whether training is provided to a young person in custody depends on a number of factors, including length of sentence and willingness and ability to undertake the training. We have no current plans for new establishments devoted mainly to teaching construction skills. The Youth Justice Board is in discussion with the Department for Education and Skills about how vocational training for young offenders, both in and out of custody, can be further developed.

Zimbabwe

Lord Anderson of Swansea asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We welcomed the UN Secretary-General's engagement on the Zimbabwe issue. He sought to help the Government of Zimbabwe in the reforms that the country desperately needs to arrest its deepening decline. However, President Mugabe blocked the initiative, and with it an opportunity to build bridges within Zimbabwe and with the international community. If Mr Mkapa can persuade President Mugabe to undertake the policy changes that Zimbabweans urgently need for a more stable and prosperous future, we will support his efforts in any way we can, as we would any international efforts aimed at achieving real progress in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is in a profound crisis. Inflation, even by official estimates, runs at over 1,000 per cent. The economy has shrunk by 40 per cent since 1999, exports by 50 per cent, and Zimbabwe now qualifies as a least developed country according to the UN's classification system. Formal unemployment has reached 80 per cent, and a quarter of the population is dependent on food aid, when once Zimbabwe was a major food exporter. An estimated 3,200 people die a week of AIDS-related causes. There are regular demonstrations in Harare and other cities, and daily infringements of the basic rights of Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe has been censured by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth and from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and subjected to critical scrutiny by UN envoys. I set out my concerns to the Zimbabwean ambassador when he called on me on July 24, and urged his Government to address these problems.

It is clear that this is not, as the Government of Zimbabwe contend, a bilateral problem with the UK. It is, as the EU, US and many others in the international community have made clear, a problem between the Government of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe’s people, concerning governance. We support the specific policy recommendations made to Zimbabwe by the UN, IMF, World Bank, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and other international organisations. The UK only wishes to see a better future for Zimbabweans. It is for Zimbabweans to freely determine who should govern Zimbabwe—it is they who will then hold that Government to the governance standards that much of the rest of Africa is now working towards.

The Government of Zimbabwe have also blamed their economic woes on economic sanctions imposed by the EU. However, the EU has no economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. It has an arms sales ban and a travel ban, as well as an assets-freeze on 126 members of the regime. These measures have had no impact on the Zimbabwean economy.

The international community is not responsible for Zimbabwe’s current problems: the wide-scale destruction of housing and livelihoods during Operation Murambatsvina; the abandonment of the rule of law so vital to maintain investor confidence; the destruction of Zimbabwe’s agricultural productivity; the assault on the independent media; and the trampling of basic human rights. Above all, it is not the international community that has caused millions of Zimbabweans to vote with their feet by leaving their mother country; they have left because of their Government’s policies.

The problem of Zimbabwe is between its Government and its people. The solution is a Government working for, not against, the people, pursuing policies that realise Zimbabwe’s enormous economic and human potential, and giving Zimbabweans the rights that much of the rest of the world insists on. If Zimbabwe pursues this path, the UK will be at the forefront of international efforts to support it, in addition to the significant humanitarian assistance that we are already providing Zimbabweans. It is in that way that Zimbabwe can build real bridges between our countries.


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